Canadian Rental Service

Show season 2017 – CRA and ARA show preview

Patrick Flannery   

Features News Shows

Against a backdrop of a slowing economy in some areas and a weak dollar, the Canadian Rental Association is cautiously optimistic that the offer of rewards for attendees and exclusive buying opportunities will lure rental store operators to its local shows.

Quebexpo is one of Canada’s largest shows every year. This year Against a backdrop of a slowing economy in some areas and a weak dollar

It’s not easy being up against ConExpo/Con-Agg and World of Concrete (the two largest biennial shows for their sectors in North America), but travel to the U.S. is expensive right now so it could be more attractive to stay home to shop.

Tweaking and standardizing the show approach has been the focus this year with some similar promotions being executed by the association across the country. Attendees who pre-register for the shows will receive postcards in the mail. If you bring your card to the show, you will be entered into a draw to win “show bucks” – a voucher worth anywhere from $500 to $1,000 when placing an order with one of the local show sponsors. The CRA organizing team has implemented this promotion across all the Canadian shows for the first time this year.

 “It’s so far, so good for our show planning this year,” says Nathalie McGregor, CRA managing director. “Business across the country depends on the sector, but some areas are doing well. We wanted to start the year with a ‘Wow’ and give members something special by trying some new ideas. We look forward to seeing everyone so we can wish them a great start to the new year!”

One of the perks McGregor points to is the growing popularity of show-only floor specials offered by exhibitors. In some cases, this might be special offers on products or shipping, but may also take the form of giveaways, prizes, draws and other bonuses for those who drop by the booth. The important thing is, exhibitors have been encouraged to have something on hand for attendees who bother to come and patronize the show – something they won’t get at other times and places.


Another new feature are the exhibitor lists published on the CRA website. It is now possible to see just who will be at the show and make your plans accordingly.

Atlantic Regional Trade Show

  • Date: Feb. 18
  • Time: 10:00 – 4:00
  • Location: Casino New Brunswick, Moncton, N.B.
  • Hotel: Hotel Casino N.B.
  • Banquet:Friday, Feb. 12, 6:00 – 10:00 at Hotel Casino New Brunswick
  • The Atlantic show will include a Saturday-morning breakfast meeting for members at 8:00 am. Members who sign up for the banquet get breakfast for free!

The Rental Show

  • Date: Feb. 26 – March 1
  • Time: varies
  • Location: Orange County Convention Centre, Orlando, Fla.
  • Hotel: Rosen Plaza
  • Banquet:Sunday, Feb. 26, 7:00 to 10:00 pm at the Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar
  • This is the big one. The ARA’s Rental Show welcomes more than 675 exhibitors and includes over 20 educational sessions. This year’s keynote speaker is Jay Leno of Tonight Show fame. Key events for Canadians include the Hospitality Reception (see above), the CRA Annual General Meeting, held 4:00 to 5:00 pm on Monday, Feb. 27 at the Convention Centre, and the Region 10 Reception from 5:00 to 6:30 right after the AGM.

Prairie Regional Trade Show

  • Date: March 11
  • Time: 9:00 – 3:00
  • Location: Edmonton Expo Centre – Hall B, Edmonton, Alta.
  • Hotel: DoubleTree West Edmonton
  • Banquet:Saturday, March 11 6:00 to 1:00 am at the DoubleTree hotel
  • Prairie Show attendees are encouraged to arrive on Friday, March 10, for a social night, details to be determined. This marks the show’s second edition in Edmonton following a well-received debut last year. The Prairie show banquet always enjoys a great turnout for some entertainment and presentation of the legendary Dickie Doo award.

Ontario Conference and Product Expo

  • Date: March 22
  • Time:8:00 – 4:00
  • Location: Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Centre, Guelph, Ont.
  • Hotel: Holiday Inn
  • Banquet: Free lunch for attendees
  • While education seminars have been eliminated from other CRA trade shows, CRA Ontario has gone the opposite direction and built a one-day program with half the day dedicated entirely to industry information sessions, workshops and panel discussions. Speaker details are to be determined, but the unique conference format will feature seminars in the morning from 8:00 until noon, followed by tabletop displays through the afternoon. New this year: the Party and Event Wall of Fame area in the product expo will highlight top event suppliers and provide a much-needed showcase for this important sector of our industry.


  • Date: March 28
  • Time:10:00 – 8:00
  • Location: Centrexpo Cogeco, Drummondville, Que.
  • Hotel: Grand Times Hotel Drummondville
  • Banquet: Cocktail reception Tuesday, March 28 5:30 to 7:30 on the show floor
  • Quebexpo moves to a new location in Drummondville to make travel more convenient for the many rental stores in southern and eastern Quebec. Organizers say the facility is about the same size as before, but newer and very attractive. Quebec regional awards will be handed out at the members-only breakfast on the morning of Wednesday, March 29.

Rental Show education program
The ARA Rental Show includes a huge slate of education opportunities for equipment and event rental operators. Here are some that may interest Canadian rental operators.

Rental Town Hall: Party and Event – February 26,  8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Led by a panel of industry experts, the fast-moving and interactive town hall session gives you a forum to learn about the newest party and event trends, issues and opportunities.

 Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to Do About It – February 26, 8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Learn ways to more effectively serve today’s picky, fickle, vocal and “all about me” customers. Pick up practical new techniques to support a partnership approach to serving today’s “new normal” customer. Enhance your confidence and competence in building long-term customer loyalty through customer insight, inclusion, mentoring and surprise.

Aerial Work Platform Equipment: New Standards and Best Practices – February 26, 8:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

In this session, a panel of industry experts will outline changes to ANSI standards and what they mean to you as a dealer of AWPs.

 Protecting Your Organization from Computer Crime – February 26, 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Michael Bazzell, the technical advisor for the USA Network hacker drama “Mr. Robot,” will teach you how to protect your valuable company data from online fraud and computer intrusion.

 Unlocking Your Selling Ability – February 26,  10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

You’ll take away techniques you can use to increase confidence and positive attitude, solve complex problems and ultimately grow your sales results.

 12 Things You Can Do to Sell Your Business for Top Dollar – February 26, 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Understand EBITDA and its impact on company value. Understand debt and its influence on value. Identify short-term strategies to increase value. Examine industry ratios that reveal risk factors that could make your company hard to sell. Uncover things you can be doing now to make your business more attractive and valuable.

  Rental Town Hall: Construction/Industrial – February 26, 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Join your peers for an informative town hall discussion moderated by a panel of rental industry experts.

 Your Ultimate Digital Marketing Plan – Part 1 – February 26,  1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

In this two-part presentation, you will learn about today’s most powerful online marketing tactics and how they can fit into your marketing strategy.

 Leading a Culture of Service Excellence – February 26, 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Drawing on 20 years of experience with the Walt Disney World, Dennis Snow will highlight specific leadership behaviors that will bring your service strategy to life.

 The Elements of Successful Succession – February 26, 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

In this session, you’ll learn about the major components of the planning process and how to develop a road map for you, your business and your family.

  Rental Town Hall: General Tool/DIY – February 26, 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

A panel of rental experts will share know-how and experience that will help you meet your biggest business challenges head-on.

 Your Ultimate Digital Marketing Plan – Part 2 – February 26, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

In this two-part presentation, you will learn about today’s most powerful online marketing tactics and how they can fit into your marketing strategy.

   Get Switched On! – The Power of Attitude and Activity – February 26, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The interactive, high-energy “Get Switched On!” experience will challenge you to re-evaluate what is really important, as well as your current vision, game plan, mindset and results. You’ll learn effective strategies to live a life of greater energy and possibility.

 Navigating the Tier 4 Transition – February 26, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Join this interactive session where a panel of rental business representatives and manufacturers will share their Tier 4 knowledge and experience.

 Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – February 28, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

This funny, down-to-earth session will provide lessons in personal change to help you realize your full potential at work and in life. By helping people become more effective, your organization will become more effective as well.

 From Facelift to Facebook: Uniting Four Generations in the Workforce – February 28, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

This seminar will help you optimize each generation’s strengths to produce a world-class team.

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